MSU leaders make stop in Trout Creek
July 4, 2019
The faculty of Montana State University embarked on their eighth annual bus tour of different parts of Montana. This year the team headed northwest to engage with the different communities. The crew was made up of faculty, staff and student leaders, including President Waded Cruzado. The group traveled 1,000 miles over three days.
This year’s tour theme was “Follow the Mountain and Valley Economies” and included the towns of Missoula, Hamilton, Corvallis, St. Regis, Trout Creek, Kootenai Falls, Libby, Kalispell and Ronan. MSU leaders met with representatives from Missoula County, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the Western Agricultural Research Center, the St. Regis business community, Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company, the Libby City Council, the Lake County Community Development Corporation and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ economic development office.
Cruzado established the bus tour in 2012 with the hope that it will put her, and the rest of the faculty, more in touch with the Montana communities that are serviced by the university’s land-grant mission with the purpose of creating a deeper understanding of the state and its people.
Starting off in Missoula was discussions about efforts to address housing needs across the state. After traveling to Hamilton, the team discussed small acreage farms, horticulture, agro-tourism, family/consumer programming. In St. Regis the team talked about timber and tourism and the challenges and opportunities that go along with them. The team also got to participate in a Lemonade Stand and discussion about unique issues with around 90% of our land is federally or state owned.
The team had lunch in Trout Creek and went on to Kootenai Falls Park where they immersed themselves in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness and discussions about the history and immensity that it holds. With a total of 93,272 acres, the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness is a 35-mile long range of high peaks and low valleys. Elevations range from 2,880 feet to 8,738 feet. It wasn’t all work and no play with a quick trip to the Swinging Bridge and hike to see the Kootenai Falls.